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Lois Sofia, jailed for shouting ‘fascist BJP govt down’ on flight with TN BJP chief, granted bail

Sofia was charged under IPC Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 290 (public nuisance) and Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act and the case was being handled by the All Women Police Station at Tuticorin. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 5, 2018 7:44:23 am
Student arrested after Tamil Nadu BJP chief complains she said ‘fascist BJP govt’.

A Thoothukudi court Tuesday granted bail to Lois Sofia, a 28-year-old studying in Canada, a day after her arrest at Tuticorin airport for shouting “fascist BJP government down, down” on board a flight in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Sofia, who was travelling with her parents, was taken into custody after Soundararajan filed a complaint with the airport police.

The arrest had led to intense outrage against the police and the AIADMK government. Reacting to the arrest,  DMK chief M K Stalin accused the Tamil Nadu government of stifling the right to free speech.

Targeting the AIADMK-led government in the state, Stalin also said that if it was going to imprison people voicing dissent, then he would repeat Sofia’s slogan. “The Tamil Nadu government’s anti-democratic actions, against the right to free speech, are highly condemnable. She must be released immediately. How many people will be imprisoned if you arrest everyone who says that? I will also say it. ‘BJP’s fascist government down, down’,” Stalin tweeted.

Sofia was charged under IPC Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 290 (public nuisance) and Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act and the case was being handled by the All Women Police Station at Tuticorin.

Sofia’s father Dr A A Sami, a retired government doctor, said the incident took place when the flight landed at Tuticorin.

“My wife Madhuri and I received our daughter at Chennai airport and we were flying from Chennai. After we landed at Tuticorin, she (Sofia) saw the BJP leader and said ‘fascist BJP government down, down’. She didn’t utter a word other than that. But when we reached the terminal, Tamilisai and some 10 men who received her at the airport surrounded us and bullied my daughter with abusive words. They issued death threats. Finally, the airport police came to our help and secured us in a room.”

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